Get The Blessing

20 June – The Clore Ballroom, RFH

I know diddly squat about jazz and stumbled upon my first free outing whilst chasing my missus who was having a sneaky lager in the RFH. The HITW was crowded with the wrong type of drunks back from Ascot, so my missus and Gina, visiting from the wilds of Hackney Marsh, took a wander down the South Bank. Oh yes, a wander along the South Bank. Living minutes from the South Bank is a privilege only a right old curmudgeon could find complaint with. And I can. Just not right now.

Get The Blessing

Get The Blessing

So my missus and Gina are a bit worse for wear and have no intention of hanging around cause theres some jazzy stuff about to start playing. Come on lets squeeze another quick one in before they start. If you must and I step aside to avoid the tip-toe, three-deep struggle, patiently smiling to attract minimum waged teenagers behind the bar.

This room, downstairs, underneath the RFH, is the only place to see music in the South Bank. Sod the main hall. And sod the Queen Elizabeth hall. Seated auditoriums designed to suck your eyes through your arse and piss the most exciting turn sterile. Last year I saw even George Funkadelic Clinton fail to undull the overlit house lighting and under powered house pa, with over anxious house bouncers and their house rules about where to not dance and what door to not use. But down here, where the oldies hold tea parties, is a different kettle of fish.  Down here, you can wander with a drink, and a fag is not three flights of stairs away. Here, the gigs are late, loud, close-up and free.

As I said I know diddly squat about jazz but I know what I like. Have you got a problem with that? Sorry but my prejudices have just taken a beating.  I’m a pop and punk sort of fella. Normally, men in suits playing jazz to men in beards, like tonight really is, would have me discoing to the HITW singing Chubby’s Alice. But waiting for Gina to return from the bar worked out just dandy.  Get The Blessing, whoever the hell they are, were just great.


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